Duvar English - Reuters
Turkey and Greek Cyprus, sharply at odds over rights in the Mediterranean, made competing claims on Sept. 30 for support from the European Union ahead of a leaders' summit at which the divided bloc will discuss possible sanctions on Ankara.
Turkey said it expects the EU to take concrete steps at its Oct. 1-2 meeting to update a 2016 migrant deal and a customs union, while Greek Cyprus - a bloc member - called for solidarity and action against Ankara.
Cyprus is withholding its consent to EU sanctions on Belarus because it wants tougher measures from the bloc on Turkey, which it says is violating its maritime territory in a search for hydrocarbons.
Greece, also an EU member, supports Cyprus's position, even while Athens agreed to resume talks with Ankara to address the row that escalated in recent months. Turkey dismisses the criticism and says it is protecting its legal offshore jurisdiction.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Turkey expected the EU to continue the positive momentum gained from diplomatic efforts to establish dialogue with Greece.Turkey sees EU summit as 'a chance for reset'
He urged an update to the 2016 deal under which Ankara curbed migrant entries into Europe in exchange for financial help and visa-free travel in the Schengen region. "These things can't be one-sided and that is our expectation," he said.
EU leaders will address the eastern Mediterranean tensions on Oct. 1. Talk of sanctions on Turkey have faded since Athens and Ankara moved toward dialogue, though the risk has weighed on Turkey's lira which has hit record lows this month.
Greek Cyprus has repeatedly called for sanctions. After a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said: "Cyprus looks to the EU and its partners for solidarity in action."
"Concretely upholding our common values and interests, and implementing our own decisions is of the essence," he added.
Also ahead of the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a letter to EU leaders - excluding Greece and Cyprus - saying Greece and Greek Cypriots caused the regional tension, adding he hopes they will show an unbiased approach on Oct. 1.
"Our expectation from the EU is to remain objective, treat everyone equally and back dialogue and cooperation," Erdoğan said in the letter sent on Sept. 30.Turkey, Greece agree to resume talks after four years in Istanbul